The Metropolitan Police is investigating at least two anti-Muslim hate letters targeting mosques in east London that mock the deaths of earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria that “wished” for the deaths of more Muslims.
One of the mosques targeted, in Shacklewell Lane, has dispatched 300 aid boxes for earthquake victims and received hundreds of supportive messages and comments after news of the vile letters made headlines, the BBC reported.
Images of one of the anti-Muslim letters show a generic white envelope sent via a second-class stamp, with the mosque’s address written in pen.
As protocol, Tell MAMA advises that mosques and Islamic institutions do the following:
Letters are kept and handled minimally to preserve evidence
Letters and envelopes are put in a clean and sealable plastic bag to stop further contamination
Call the police non-emergency line on 101, and in an emergency, dial 999
Tell MAMA can provide assistance and liaise with the police for you (if requested)
⚠️𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘁⚠️#TurkeySyriaEarthquake: After some anti-Muslim hate letters targeted mosques mocking Turkish and Syrian earthquake victims, Tell MAMA is circulating its protocol advice.
Here’s what we suggest: pic.twitter.com/IjnfemvLgJ
— Tell MAMA UK (@TellMamaUK) February 16, 2023
In a statement published today (February 17), Iman Atta, director of Tell MAMA, said: “Following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, we’ve seen the best of Britain, with communities standing together in grief and solidarity. Sadly, a minority have targeted at least two mosques in London with despicable anti-Muslim hate letters. We urge all mosques to remain vigilant about any letters from unknown senders and report any suspicious materials to the police.
Remember: letters and envelopes are handled minimally and placed in a clean and sealable plastic bag to stop further contamination and to preserve evidence for the police. The impacts of these earthquakes are ongoing, and we must continue supporting them and providing empathy and care.”
Statement from our Director Iman Atta:
Tell MAMA is liaising with the Met Police after two mosques received anti-Muslim hate letters about the #TurkeySyriaEarthquake
We urge mosques to remain vigilant, report unknown letters to the police and, in an emergency, dial 999. pic.twitter.com/4w4ByZKtA4
— Tell MAMA UK (@TellMamaUK) February 17, 2023
In a joint statement, the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and the Labour councillor Susan Fajana Thomas, issued a joint statement in condemnation of the letters, adding that, “Some of our residents may have lost family and loved ones in the earthquake. We must not let the kind of hatred contained in the letters cloud the support the people of this area need from us and the rest of the world at this moment.”
The @mayorofhackney and @sfajanathomas have issued a joint statement on reports of a hate letter being sent to a Turkish mosque in Hackney following the tragic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria 1/2 pic.twitter.com/qVF6e5gxR1
— Hackney Council (@hackneycouncil) February 16, 2023
On Twitter, @ifraahsamatar tweeted: “Thank you to everyone who sent solidarity and support. To all who are asking if the police are involved…very much so. Our local officers acted quickly and put special measures in place to reassure the mosque.”
Thank you to everyone who sent solidarity and support. To all who are asking if the police are involved…very much so. Our local officers acted quickly and put special measures in place to reassure the Mosque. Invitation to a vigil this Friday in the tweet below. pic.twitter.com/EcD3AAU6ST
— Ifraah (she/her) (@ifraahsamatar) February 16, 2023
An unnamed mosque in Stoke Newington received a letter “with racist and Islamophobic language”, the BBC report added.
Tell MAMA continues to liaise directly with the Metropolitan Police as the hate crime investigation remains ongoing. We endeavour to provide further updates where possible.